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  • Healing Spaces Project


Updated: Dec 2, 2021

I turn to nature for inspiration always and not just for understanding colour and space but understanding life. Nature is the ultimate designer.

One day I sat in front of a large tree and wrote down some observations in the form of keywords, as I analysed the keywords I realised something incredible. There was an equal amount of words that contributed to both order and chaos.

For example, a leaf is symmetrical but it is imperfect. A pattern of a leaf is repeated, but they are all different, a tree is rooted in the ground but it also allows its branches to move with the wind.

We as humans are symmetrical but imperfect, we are a repeated pattern in regards to our bodily form but are all different, we require physical movement and rest, we all have our own opinions and perspectives but all need love.

We are nature and we exist in a society that aims for perfection. We are constantly shown images of photoshopped people and spaces, desirable lifestyles with hidden 'normal' realities, perfect skin, perfect bodies, high paying jobs with fancy titles, buy this, you need that, not enough, not enough, not enough! Enough!

To aim for perfection is to fight nature, fighting nature is fighting ourselves.

I was introduced to an incredible spiritual teacher by a good friend, his name is Ram Dass, his quote went something like, 'Do you judge a tree for having different branches? Yet we judge people for having different bodies'. I'm not sure it went exactly like that but that was the message, for me, it stuck.

So what does all of this have to do with interior design?

Beyond the maybe obvious response of introducing natural materials in your home, this is something that is growing in desire and has been for a while now, which is fantastic.

My focus is more so on imperfection being welcomed into the home. You may already have been exposed to some philosophies like Slow Living or Wabi Sabi (if you haven't heard of these I recommend to take a look, they create some exquisite interior spaces).

But rather than feeling like you might run out and get some rustic linen covers for your sofa to replicate the look, take a look at what you already have and explore how you feel about the item or space in your home.

Do you want to get rid of an old metal lamp because it's a little rusted? That light could look incredible with a fresh clean backdrop of a freshly painted wall behind it and a new edison bulb to create ambient light and reinforce the industrial look.

Embracing imperfection as well as orderly clean lines for example, can elevate your space in a way that connects you to nature, not so directly as needing a painting of a tree, but embracing some balance of order and chaos within the space.

There could be an element of truth here that explains how a lived in space or space that displays personal artefacts carries more 'soul' than a showroom where everything is new - I think there is a bit more to it but its an interesting thought.

This may not suit you, you may be reading this thinking no, I am ready for a completely clean slate and I want everything to be new to support me in this change in my life!

To that I say whoop! Awesome lets do it and maybe we could incorporate a painting of a tree ;)

Everyone is different and that is all part of our imperfectly perfect nature as well.

Whatever your style or whatever you love, your space is yours to express yourself and help create the life you want, whatever that looks like to you.

Have a fabulous day designing your life.

The Healing Spaces Project - Lauren Shiels.

Wabi Sabi Example: Thomas Malhorn Architects

Still The Slow Home by Natalie Walton

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